New Delhi: Ruchi Gupta, the national in-charge of the Congress’ student wing, the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), resigned from her post, on a day party interim president Sonia Gandhi is holding a meeting with “dissenting” leaders.
Gupta confirmed the development to ThePrint, but refused to comment further. But NSUI sources said Gupta, in her message on the NSUI WhatsApp group Saturday, blamed Congress General Secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal for the delay in approving appointments in NSUI state units.
In a tweet, Gupta said she has resigned from her post, and shared her article published in The Hindu Saturday, titled ‘Chalking out Congress’ enduring revival’.
“I regret to announce that I have resigned. I am grateful to Rahul ji and Sonia ji for giving me this opportunity,” she wrote.
I regret to announce that I have resigned. I am grateful to Rahul ji and Sonia ji for giving me this opportunity.
— Ruchi Gupta (@guptar) December 19, 2020
Gupta wrote in the NSUI WhatsApp group: “These continuing delays by the general secretary (organisation) are damaging the organisation, but in the present circumstances it is not possible to escalate repeatedly to the Congress president. The situation has thus become untenable.”
Both Gupta as well as Venugopal are considered to be close aides of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Sources in the NSUI said Gupta was upset over the delay in the approval of state unit appointments.
“She had been wanting to revamp the organisation, get new, fresh faces into it. But many state unit appointments had been pending for very long, and that has slowed down the work,” a source said.
Gupta’s resignation comes as Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi held a meeting Saturday with several top leaders of the party, including multiple members of the ‘G-23’ or the signatories to the controversial letter written in August, demanding a full-time and active leadership.
Congress needs a ‘strong, interventionist’ president
While Gupta’s article published in The Hindu doesn’t speak of her resignation, it does mention what she believes ails the party, and what needs to be done to revive it.
In the article, Gupta wrote the Congress is “the only party which can provide a coherent national framework for a viable Opposition formation. Unfortunately, the Congress party is failing to do justice to this moment, and to its own deeply inspiring legacy.”
“Earlier being a Congress-person imbued an identity strongly correlated to our national identity… This identity has been lost. Consequently, we lack political programmes to give supporters an accessible and respectful sense of belonging,” she wrote.
Gupta further wrote the party must work to make its organisational politics better and more robust.
“While the Congress has always been a mass-based party, the need for organisation is especially acute right now to bypass media subservient to the ruling party and to tailor messages for different constituencies,” she wrote.
Gupta said that to achieve all this, the Congress needs a “strong and interventionist Congress president”.
“At present, this leadership can only be provided by Rahul Gandhi. This is not a sycophantic statement — if any other leader had to emerge in the party, he would have done so over the last year,” she wrote.